On Tuesday, President Donald Trump filed suit against the House Ways and Means Committee and New York state officials, to block the latter from rendering his state tax returns if requested by Congress.
"Trump's attorneys are fighting back in this lawsuit, essentially saying the attempts to get at Trump's tax returns are political retribution," said CNN reporter Cristina Alesci. "New York state passed a law that would allow New York lawmakers to hand over Trump's state tax returns to Congress if they request it. Trump's attorneys saying these efforts to get at his tax returns violate his First Amendment right to free speech because it's essentially punishment for his political views."
It is hard to imagine a court would buy this argument. Trump's tax returns are being sought as part of an anti-corruption investigation, not as retaliation against any of his personal beliefs. But Alesci noted that there is a likely reason why Trump feels he can win in court: because one of his own appointed circuit judges recently handed him a key win in another corruption case.
"It appears, based on my reporting and what I've been hearing, the president has been emboldened by the fact the courts have been siding with him over the last several weeks, particularly when it comes at attempts to disclose his financial documents and information, particularly two cases," said Alesci. "A judge sided with him in regard to an anti-corruption suit that was brought by Maryland in D.C. A judge also hit the pause button on Democratic efforts to get information out of his company. So we all know that Trump likes to hit from a position of strength. He likes to attack from a position of strength. And this lawsuit seems to be just that."